Today is my 53rd birthday. I am grateful to live another day and that my middle age has so far been pretty free of health problems. But…
I have to say that this GMO stuff has really gotten caught in my crosshairs and it won’t let go…and truth be known, it frightens me. The first big aha moment I had when the buzz about GMO began to circulate within my radar, was when I considered the main, current use of GMO crops which is to create seed that yields plants that will not die when Roundup is sprayed on them. My first reaction was, naturally, yuck. Roundup sprayed on soy, corn, canola plants and they won’t die. How wonderful that the farmer doesn’t have to deal with weeds but we are eating food drenched in Roundup.
Then by chance I took a cross-country road trip last summer and drove through Iowa. Mind you, Iowa is a beautiful state with acres of rolling hills and green slopes of corn as far as the eye can see – green fields that are dotted by towering wind turbines and country farmhouses. We stopped at a lovely rest stop somewhere on the I-80 in Iowa and were impressed that the rest area had free wifi so my 17-year-old daughter booted up the laptop and checked her Facebook notifcations. After we used the super-clean facilities we noticed a little trailhead off to the side of the rest area that led to a path alongside a corn field. It was a unanimous decision to take the little hike and so off we went and – my eyes immediately started to burn. I heard a small plane overhead, a very low-flying one, and noticed it was spraying the cornfield. Crop duster, I thought. Cool! But as we began to meander along the path I noticed that not only were my eyes burning but there was an odor of strong chemicals hanging in the air. My breathing became shallower as I reacted to the strong smell. Now I am not sure what I was smelling was Roundup. Could have been. But whatever it was, it was STRONG and it was going onto the corn and my lungs were irritated and my eyes were burning.
So I got to thinking… OK, I’ve used Roundup before on weeds in my yard. Guilty as charged (though I have not used it in over a year and would not consider spraying my tomato plants with it). Now let’s consider just a tiny portion of what is on the label of Roundup:
AVOID CONTACT OF HERBICIDE WITH FOLIAGE, GREEN STEMS, EXPOSED NON-WOODY ROOTS OR FRUIT OF CROPS (EXCEPT AS SPECIFIED FOR INDIVIDUAL ROUNDUP READY® CROPS), DESIRABLE PLANTS AND TREES, BECAUSE SEVERE INJURY OR DESTRUCTION MAY RESULT.
Danger Will Robinson.
The next thing I considered was the simple explanation offered somewhere on the label of how Roundup (or glyphosate – the chemical name of the main ingredient) works: Glyphosate interrupts the metabolic process in plants.
If Roudup (glyphosate) affects the metabolic process in plants, and we are eating corn, soy, and canola drenched with the stuff, what is it doing to OUR metabolism??? HELLO! Not only is Roundup on the plant, it is also in the plant, systemically all about and through the plant. And that realization has put me on my current course and is why I care so much about this issue. I have since learned a lot and so I’m sharing and I’m hoping to raise awareness.
Currently I am soaking up all the information I can from a movie called Genetic Roulette produced by the one of the strongest voices against GMO in our food, Jeffrey Smith, who, by the way, has caught the attention of Dr. Oz and appeared on his show. Much more information about him and Genetic Roulette can be found at Institute For Responsible Technology.